Are Sports Drinks Safe and Effective?

Commercial influences may have corrupted American College of Sports Medicine hydration guidelines.

Subscribe to’s free newsletter at and receive recipes developed by the NF staff that will fuel your fitness goals.

That’s one of my personal fave videos of late. Got all the things I love: sweeping historical context, corporate malfeasance, myth busting—you name it! Hope it was as good for you as it was for me 🙂

What about using coconut water? See my last video if you missed it: Coconut Water for Athletic Performance vs. Sports Drinks (

More videos on hydration if you get thirsty:
• How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day? (
• Does a Drink Of Water Make Children Smarter? (
• Can Dehydration Affect Our Mood? (
• Treating Dry Eye Disease with Diet: Just Add Water? (
• How to Prevent Fainting (

Have a question about this video? Leave it in the comment section at and someone on the team will try to answer it.

Want to get a list of links to all the scientific sources used in this video? Click on Sources Cited at You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

If you’d rather watch these videos on YouTube, subscribe to my YouTube Channel here:

Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

Captions for this video are available in several languages. To find yours, click on the settings wheel on the lower-right of the video and then “Subtitles/CC.”
Do you have feedback about the translations in this video? Please share it here along with the title of the video and language:
To view the subtitles in transcript format, click on the ellipsis button below the video, choose “Open transcript”, and select the language you’d like to view them in.

Image credit: Gellinger / Pixabay
• Subscribe:
• Donate:
• How Not to Die:
• NEW BOOK – How Not to Diet:
• Facebook:
• Twitter:
• Instagram:
• Podcast:

21 thoughts on “Are Sports Drinks Safe and Effective?

  1. Complete lies. Just shows you how clueless orthodox medical science is. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. You don't wait until you are dehydrated to drink water. Athletes should eat fruit and NOT DRINK GATORADE which is acid forming.

  2. I was a high school athlete in the 80s and all we drank was water and we NEVER had a problem with “low electrolytes”. I used to tell my kids all the time (both high school and college athletes) that they didn’t need all that expensive crap in the bottles and to just drink enough water. What a scam🙄.

  3. I think this just confused the heck out of everybody…..hahaha AND I totally saw sanitation coming a mile away. The eradication of smallpox was mostly due to sanitation not inoculation.

  4. I agree that water is the best choice to stay hydrated, but in studies like these, i don't think they're considering the long term effects of some of the alternatives ingredients, lets break down Gatorade for example. [ Water(fluoridated mostly), high fructose corn syrup (from genetically modified corn), glucose-fructose syrup (also from genetically modified sources), sucrose syrup (GMO), citric acid (GMO), natural flavor (GMO) salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, modified food starch (GMO), red 40 and glycerol ester of rosin]. Glycerol ester of rosin is put into sports drinks PURELY FOR COSMETICS. Its a chemical derived from wood rosin, and the only purpose it has in the drink is to keep the artificial colors, which are CRUDE OIL DERIVATIVES suspended, so they never settle to the bottom and it keeps the beverage looking "nice". When we look at the best hydration formulas, i think its important to be conscious of its constituents (hopefully none other than hydrogen and oxygen) and consider the health effects of the ingredients. Basically, anything natural (including coconut water) is healthier than crude oil derivative, wood rosin, genetically modified laden choices for hydration.

  5. Why make a video on something you have no experience with? Anyone can do exactly what you did for either side of this argument and appear correct. This video has no substance.

    I'll listen to professional athletes tell me what they do to perform at a high level. I'll pass on performance based information from the captain of the Jewish debate team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *